The World of Barrier-Free Patents: Revolutionary Sliding Door Operated by Magnetic Force

The World of Barrier-Free Patents: Revolutionary Sliding Door Operated by Magnetic Force

Invention Name: Sliding Door

Application Number: JP2021-149000

Patent Number: Unknown if patented

Patent Applicant: Masayoshi Hirashima

Invention Overview

A sliding door utilizing magnetic force to achieve zero-step difference between the threshold and floor surface

Previous Issues

In realizing barrier-free housing, it was difficult to eliminate the protrusion of the threshold, leaving a 1-2mm step. Removing this step made the door unstable, preventing complete barrier-free implementation.

Problem-Solving Approach

Electromagnets and vertically movable iron pieces were installed in the lower inner part of the sliding door, with an iron plate placed on top of the threshold. When moving the door, a switch activates the electromagnet to weaken the magnetic force, while strong magnetic force stabilizes the door when stationary.

Effect of the Invention

All individuals, including wheelchair users and the elderly, can now use a sliding door that opens and closes smoothly in a completely barrier-free environment without any step difference.

Explanation for Children

Hey kids! Have you ever opened and closed sliding doors or screens at home? There used to be small steps in houses that made it hard for friends in wheelchairs or grandparents using canes. But this new sliding door magically removes those steps! How? Well, there are tiny magnets hidden inside the door. When you want to open or close it, these magnets become weak, making it easy to move. When the door is still, the magnets become strong and keep it in place. Now everyone can move around the house safely and happily!

Personal View

I feel this invention is a groundbreaking step towards realizing barrier-free housing. By completely eliminating the step at the threshold, which was unavoidable with conventional sliding doors, it creates a truly barrier-free space. Particularly interesting is the ingenious mechanism combining electromagnets and permanent magnets. This achieves a balance between ease of operation when moving and stability when stationary, which were previously conflicting requirements.

This technology has the potential to become a product that’s easy for everyone to use, not just for people with disabilities or the elderly, aligning with the principles of universal design. I hope that as this technology is put into practical use and further improved, it will lead to the creation of living environments where more people can live comfortably.

Barrier-free design requires not only technological problem-solving but also a change in social awareness. I hope that such innovative inventions will raise awareness of the importance of barrier-free design and accelerate efforts towards realizing an inclusive society.

Barrier-Free Solutions Leading to Corporate Profits

Here we’ve explained the necessity of barrier-free design. The spread of barrier-free facilities is essential for everyone to lead safe and comfortable lives. However, there are many challenges in its realization due to the high costs associated with implementing barrier-free facilities.

On the other hand, barrier-free ideas born from the perspective of people with disabilities have the potential to not only make society more convenient as a whole but also bring significant economic benefits to companies.

A prime example is the “lighter”. Born from the simple wish of a person with limited use of one hand who thought, “Matches are difficult because they require both hands to light. If only there was something that could easily light a fire with one hand…”, lighters have been loved worldwide and have generated enormous profits.

This is a good example of how meeting the needs of people with disabilities can lead to the creation of products that are easy for everyone to use, bringing economic benefits to companies.

Lahiners LLC and the NPO Japan Disability Idea Association are working on creating mechanisms to connect such ideas from people with disabilities to businesses.

Barrier-free design is a very important initiative that combines social contribution and economic potential. We hope that more companies and individuals will take an interest in barrier-free design and actively work towards its realization in the future.